Sydney alumni to talk at TEDxSydney

13 March 2013

The University of Sydney is a principal partner of TEDxSydney, an offshoot of US-based TED talks that present ideas from the world's leading thinkers and doers to the public.

This year, TEDxSydney takes place on 4 May at Sydney Opera House and will have a special emphasis on locally grown, sustainable food, with a 'crowd-sourced' lunchtime feast for everyone attending the event.

The event will include two University of Sydney alumni in conversation when Julian Morrow (LLB '98 BA'95), of Chaser fame, chats to one of the world's most influential industrial designers, Marc Newson (BVArts '84 DVA (Honoris Causa '10), about his design philosophy and global business.

Alumnus Paul Pholeros (BSc (Arch) '74 BArch '77), architect and co-founder of Healthhabitat, will also speak, as will alumni Dr Lisa Murray (BA '95 PhD '02), City Historian for the City of Sydney, and Dr Rebecca Huntley (PhD '04), Director of Ipsos Mackay, who will unveil original research done especially for the TEDxSydney event on why we are not consumers.

Other featured speakers from the University include Professor Ron McCallum, who is an Emeritus Professor of the Sydney Law School and was Dean of Law from 2002 to 2007. Professor McCallum was the first blind person to be appointed to a full professorship at an Australian university and is also a former Senior Australian of the Year.

"From when I was a toddler I always wanted to read printed books. The extension of information technology in the '80s and '90s made my dream a reality. My academic and reading lives were totally transformed." Professor McCallum's talk will reflect on the many dimensions of the right to read.

Associate Professor Bill Pritchard of the School of Geosciences is a human geographer with a major interest in how food systems are organised, the implications for rural communities and environments and the trade and investment arrangements underpinning agri-food globalisation.

"World hunger, despite a world full of food, still exists, with an estimated 870 million people going hungry," he says. "To have any chance of solving it we need to reframe the issue. We should listen and learn from those currently on the frontline of hunger."

Jennifer Robinson, an Adjunct Lecturer at Sydney Law School and Director of Legal Advocacy at Bertha Philanthropy Services, is one the world's most prominent human rights lawyers with a role in some of the most challenging contemporary legal dramas, from Wikileaks to West Papua.

Janne Ryan, executive producer of TEDxSydney, describes the event as "a celebration of Australian ideas and innovators". He says, "Whether they are prominent or undiscovered identities, all our speakers are brilliant change agents within their fields of endeavour, and are making a difference to some of our most important challenges both locally and internationally."

All TEDxSydney speakers are selected by an independent curatorial committee.

Anyone can participate in TEDxSydney. Applications to be part of the live audience  close on 31 March